For its third edition, the AdForum Worldwide Summit gathered together the world's leading agency search and advertising management consultants in New York City to network and exchange ideas and experiences with their peers in an unique environment. They met with the CEOs and top management from 2 holdings, global agencies with full networks, 'hub' agencies and media agencies. This year, a couple of marketing services networks were invited for the first time.
"The One Constant is Change"
October 4, 2004
Once again, AdForum has brought together consultants from around the world to meet and mix with agency CEOs and get a fresh perspective on where the agencies are heading.
Hervé de Clerck, founder of Maydream and AdForum, kicked off the weeklong series of meetings and events on Monday. About 30 consultants from Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific and the United States are taking part in the forum, now in its third year.
Hervé de Clerck told the assembled group that he met with the participating agency heads well in advance of the forum and gave each a brief, "The Agency Pitch." He encouraged them to present their visions of their agencies and assess their futures.
"We want your guts, your soul, your brain," he told each one. "That's the brief."
De Clerk said he expected the theme for the week to be "reinvention and change," including how the agencies are adapting to the changing scene of media.
2004 has also been marked with many changes in top management at agencies, well-publicized agency hiring and firings by advertisers and more merger activity, including WPP's recent acquisition of Grey Global and MediaCom Worldwide.
The consultants will hear pitches from nine global agencies, two hub networks (Red Cell and BBH), five media agencies, two holding companies (IPG and Havas) and for the first time this year, two marketing services networks (ARC Worldwide and EuroRSCG 4D).
For the new business movers, it's an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences among themselves in a healthy competitive spirit. And the unique format, with back-to-back meetings and the inevitable comparisons of style and substance, gives the consultants a perspective they don't normally get when sitting in on new business pitches with clients and advertisers.
De Clerck said the experience also helps "build credibility of the consulting industry vis à vis agencies, advertisers and the advertising business in general."
The consultants also previewed "emerging hot agencies" from around the world and will hear two panel discussions this week: "How terrorism can affect the advertising world" and "The Next New Thing in advertising."